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The strengths of the Chinese path

Source: Understanding China -- 70 Years of Progress and Development Updated: 2020-11-25

On March 20th, 2019, before President Xi Jinping's state visit to Italy, a seminar was held in Rome on his book The Governance of China. The event was attended by hundreds of Chinese and international guests. As of present, the book has been translated into more than 20 languages, published in over 100 nations and regions, and has sold over 20 million copies, becoming a "window" for the international community to decode the Chinese path. 

What makes China's path so remarkable is its distinctiveness and effectiveness. It is able to solve Chinese issues because it contains both great wisdom and inventiveness, and this is attracting the attention of other countries. So what exactly are its strengths? 


A seminar on Xi Jinping's book: The Governance of China

The first lies in the unity of democracy and centralized decision-making. Democracy encourages an array of ideas and opinions, while centralized decision-making leads to a unified purpose. The Chinese path emphasizes combining the two organically to create a positive environment that is both dynamic and united. On the one hand, wide democracy ensures that the people are able to fully voice and express their wishes and needs which mobilizes the enthusiasm and creativity of society. On the other, centralization allows the CPC to play its leading role in overseeing the whole and coordinating the parts. In this way national resources can be mobilized in a systematic fashion and concentrated to accomplish great undertakings. This has been proven to be an effective approach in many projects over the last 70 years, e.g. the development of nuclear weapons, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the Three Gorges Project, the South-to-North water diversion project, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, etc. 

Another strength lies in the way that goals are combined with the means to reach them. Mao Zedong once used this analogy: "We may have a mission to cross the river, but without a bridge or a boat that will be impossible." The Chinese path has given us goals to work for, while also laying out "road-maps" and "task books" to help us reach them. This gives us both direction and the means to follow it. For example, the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017 laid out long-term strategic goals to be met in 30 years' time. It also set specific short-term development targets and described the concrete ways to attain them, thus providing a complete step-by-step blueprint to follow. 

Another strength is combining what we have inherited from the past with innovating for the future. Without the foundation laid down in the past, our path would be like a rootless lotus pad drifting about and eventually getting lost. On the other hand, without innovation, the path would become hidebound and inflexible, and the future would be bleak. The Chinese path has succeeded in combining dialectically the rational theories of scientific socialism with the theories of Chinese social development, thus giving it both history and practical application. It upholds the principles of scientific socialism while absorbing the essence of our own historical traditions, ensuring not only that our past will carry on, but also that change and innovation will take place in step with our practice and the evolving times. This new combination is extremely vibrant and dynamic. 

This path combines what is national with what is international. Throughout history, all great cultures have contributed in unique ways to world civilization, and all have drawn upon and learned from each other's achievements. The Chinese path has inherited from Chinese history and traditions, is grounded in China's specific reality and has evolved from within to solve its own problems. Yet China is also embracing what is international with an open mind because it is a part of Asia and of the world. The Chinese path has evolved from learning from the great achievements of other cultures, and now it too contributes to the treasures of human civilization. 

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.